• Description

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires far-reaching transformations across power generation, buildings, industry, transport, land use, coastal zone management, and agriculture, as well as the immediate scale-up of technological carbon removal and climate finance. This report translates these transitions into 40 targets for 2030 and 2050, with measurable indicators.

Transformations, particularly those driven by new technology adoption, often unfold slowly before accelerating after crossing a tipping point. Nearly a quarter of indicators assessed new technology adoption, with some already growing exponentially. This report considers such nonlinear change in its methodology.

The transitions required to avoid the worst climate impacts are not happening fast enough. Of the 40 indicators assessed, none are on track to reach 2030 targets. Change is heading in the right direction at a promising but insufficient speed for 8 and in the right direction but well below the required pace for 17. Progress has stagnated for 3, while change for another 3 is heading in the wrong direction entirely. Data are insufficient to evaluate the remaining 9.

This report also identifies underlying conditions that enable change—supportive policies, innovations, strong institutions, leadership, and shifts in social norms. Finance for climate action, for example, must increase nearly 13-fold to meet the estimated need in 2030.

State of Climate Action 2021: Systems Transformations Required to Limit Global Warming to 1.5°C